The Five Stripes defeated the Fire 2-0 and will head into the three-week international break with happy faces. Although the next MLS match won’t take place until June 26, Atlanta will face the Charleston Battery on June 11th on Open Cup play but before then, here are my three thoughts on United’s victory:
May was a good month
During the last 30 days, Atlanta played about one-fourth of its MLS schedule and with the biggest concern being the high amount of matches and the low days of rest, everyone wondered how the team would react to the task and well, it’s safe to say that the team handled those matches in the best way possible.
Out of 24 points, Atlanta obtained 18 points by winning six matches and losing only two. Those results have helped the Five Stripes climbed from last place to third in the Eastern Conference with 26 points. Also, Atlanta is two points away from first place with one match in hand.
Defense is solid
Most of the talking points since the beginning of the season have been about how the offensive power has not shown out this year compared to last year, which is true, the team is scoring fewer goals than last year. But one thing that most people don’t seem to talk about is the defense, and that’s because, well, the defense is good and it rarely commits mistakes.
So far, Atlanta has only allowed 11 goals, the fewest in MLS and Brad Guzan has recorded eight shutouts this year, which was the total amount the team had all of last season.
In addition to Guzan being a stud under the goal, Miles Robinson, Leandro Gonzalez, Franco Escobar, and Michael Parkhurst have done an exceptional job at adjusting to all the changes that have taken place this season.
Josef is back
Josef Martinez has now scored five goals in the last three matches and 10 overall, which puts him in second place in the top scorer list behind the 16 goals scored by LAFC’s Carlos Vela.
“I have to thank my teammates for that as well. We had a complicated start to the season, but now we are playing well, and the goals are starting to come. Now, it is time to go play with the (Venezuelan) National Team,” Martinez said when asked about how in March he said once the first goal comes, the rest will follow. “As a forward, I think it is my job to score, and as I have said before, I get mad when I am not scoring. That is my mentality always, is to score and do my job for the team.”
With Copa America on the horizon, Martinez will leave Atlanta for the next couple of weeks, and I just hope that he continues his form with the Venezuela National Team and is able to come back to Atlanta healthy once the tournament comes to an end.